Starting Pitchers
    Record ERA WHIP Last Start Compare
Zambrano 0-1 4.86 1.62 L Splits
Lowe 1-1 5.82 1.53 W Splits
Game Information
Game Time Television 2006 Cubs 2006 Dodgers Series
10:10 EDT WGN 8-4 6-8 Cubs 1-0

Scouting Report on Derek Lowe
Lowe enjoyed the support of 13 runs against the Pirates, although he also let a 2-0 lead get away and allowed another home run. Lowe pitched six innings, barely more than the Dodger average this year, and he continues to be haunted by the home run ball, which was not in his vocabulary during his best Boston years. (MLB.com)

Lowe is known for his sinker, which he throws most of the time. When it’s on, it is a thing of beauty. He can vary the speed of it through the 80s, and hitters usually beat it into the ground or miss it entirely. Lowe also throws effective sliders and curves to complement his primary offering. Whatever he throws, he almost always keeps the ball down. Lowe produces roughly three times as many groundballs as flyballs, making his success as dependent on his infield defense as any pitcher in the game. Last season, one defensive miscue behind him often snowballed into a big inning, leading to questions about his mental makeup.

With Lowe inducing so many groundballs, he’s had more than 60 total chances in each of the last two seasons. Although Lowe is generally a reliable fielder, he committed three errors in 2004. Lowe is slow to the plate, and his pickoff move is average at best. As a result, stolen bases against him have become a major problem. He allowed a major league-high 34 steals last season, while only two runners were caught. (Fox Sports)

Weather Report

Temperature:71 degrees
Wind: Blowing in at 3 mph

Misc. Notes

  • Carlos Zambrano has pitched 17 2/3 innings in Dodger stadium and has never allowed an earned run. He also has 22 K’s in that time.
  • The Daily Herald is reporting that if Wood feels OK today after his bullpen session last night, the next step will be to work a 3 inning session in rookie ball on Thursday.
  • Mark Prior is scheduled to pitch batting practice on Friday.
  • Barry Rozner has an article in the Herald today about how Girardi was born to manage the Cubs.
  • Len and Bob have started a podcast once a week. Here is their first one.

Farm Report – 4/17/06

  • Felix Pie (AAA) – 2 for 3 and is hitting .348 on the year
  • Ryan Theriot (AAA) – 3 for 5 with an RBI, a run, and a SB. He’s hitting .318 on the year.
  • Eric Patterson (AA) – 2 for 5 with a run scored and a SB (6 on the year). He’s hitting .341 for the season.

Over / Under
Until Carlos starts pitching the way he should, i’m setting the over under for today at 6 innings of work for Big Z.

Note from Mastrick:
Speaking of Z’s, former Cub and Japanese superstar Julio Zuleta was involved in a mound-charging incident during the game between Zuleta’s Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks and the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters. Last year Zuleta was hit seventeen times, three of which occurred against the Ham Fighters.

Note from Chris
This seems like an opportune moment to point out that ex-Cub utility man (and whipping boy) Jose Macias plays for the Nippon Ham Fighters.

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Joe Aiello is the founder of View From the Bleachers and one of the lead writers as well as host of VFTB Radio. Growing up in Chicago, he fondly remembers attending games in the bleachers before that was the popular thing to do. Currently Joe resides in North Carolina with his wife and three kids. Connect with Joe via Twitter / Facebook / E-mail